Βy Kyriacos Kyriacou-Nicosia
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades had a telephone conversation on Wednesday with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras .
According to information, the conversation was lengthy ahead of Samaras’ meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, scheduled Thursday on the sidelines of a NATO Summit in Wales.
This “out of protocol” meeting was requested by the newly elected President of Turkey and, despite the fact that Athens seemed annoyed by statements he made during his visit yesterday to the occupied areas of Cyprus, the meeting was arranged and reports say that the two leaders will discuss bilateral matters in private at Cardiff.
They agreed on issues for Whales
According to a written statement from Cyprus Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, the telephone conversation between the Anastasiades and Samaras was part of the close cooperation scheme between Nicosia and Athens. The statement added that the two exchanged views on the ongoing UN-led talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to unify the divided island, since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
The two men agreed on the issues the Greek Prime minister would put forward during his contacts in Wales with a number of leaders, including Erdogan.
Erdogan was in the north on Monday, marking his first visit outside Turkey after being elected president. “Everyone must know that Turkey will never accept a Greek Cypriot government that turns Turkish Cypriots into a minority,” Erdogan commented during his visit.
Both Nicosia and Athens condemned Erdogan’s statements. Anastasiades responded by saying: “I hope the other side comes to realise, if indeed it means what it says, that methodology, via the proposals being submitted, cannot be the pretext for a new deadlock that would validate the Turkish side’s Plan B.”
Anastasiades described Erdogan’s remarks as disappointing. “We had expected the Turkish government to put on display its ostensible determination to help solve the Cyprus problem. But with these comments, I am sorry to say that… they disappoint all those who invested in Mr. Erdogan.”
Anastasiades in New York
President of Cyprus will hold meetings on three levels, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, for which he will depart on September 19.
Sources told that with regard to the Cyprus problem Anastasiades will meet with UN Secretary General and will hold meetings with officials of the US administration – most probably with US Vice President Joe Biden, who will also be in New York and with the Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington.
Furthermore he will have meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Russia and China and will attend a lunch with the Permanent Representatives of the UN Security Council Permanent Members.
Meetings were also requested with some of the non- permanent members of the Security Council. President Anastasiades will also have meetings with leaders of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region and more specifically with the leaders of Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Israel, while he will inaugurate a photo exhibition organized by Israelis in New York.
Furthermore, he will hold meetings with the leaders of countries which he has visited with a view to attract investments, and more specifically with the leaders of Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. He will also probably meet with the leader of Bahrain, to which he will pay a visit on January 26, 2015, at an official invitation. According to the same information, Anastasiades is also expected to visit Oman, most probably in February.
And Dervis Eroglu
Meanwhile, the same sources did not rule out the possibility the new meeting between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in the framework of UN-led talks on the Cyprus problem, to take place prior to Anastasiades` visit to New York.
They noted that even though no joint meeting of the two sides with the new UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has been scheduled to take place during his visit to the island September 5-8, the Norwegian diplomat may return back to Cyprus and have a meeting with the two leaders before September 19.